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Results of Highland Games Athletic Competitions

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July 16, 2012. Michael Pockoski of Troutman, N.C. took home the first place title in heavyweight athletics at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Saturday in a battle that came down to the wire.

Michael Pockoski

Pockoski and Eric Frasure, last year’s champion, were tied at 12 points apiece heading into the last event: the 56-pound-weight toss for height.  After an exciting tiebreaker between the two, Pockoski pulled out the win with a 14-13 advantage over the 2011 winner.

“Eric is a great contender,” said Pockoski, “This isn’t the first time it’s come down to the wire and it won’t be the last.”

Pockoski, 34, began his career as a track and field athlete.  While training for the Olympics, his coach had him cross training with Scottish field events to better his traditional track and field abilities.  He then developed a preference for such events.

“When you’re doing track and field, you deal with travel and accommodations just to make two or three throws in one day,” said Pockoski. “In the Highland Games you spend the whole day competing.  That’s what I like.”

Pockoski now enjoys competing on a regular basis, traveling to Scotland and all over the United States to compete.  Many of his fellow competitors are his best friends. 



56-Pound Weight Throw-for distance

1. Michael Pockoski, Troutman, N.C.           43’ 1” 

2. Eric Frasure, Charlotte, N.C.                     42’ 8”


Clachneart (tossing a 16-pound stone)

1. Eric Frasure                                                46’ 6.5”

2. Michael Pockoski                                       46’ 3.5”


Sheaf (tossing a 20-pound sack of hay for height with a pitch fork)

1. Eric Frasure                                               30’

2. Mike Pockoski                                            28’


Caber Toss (flipping a 20’, 120-pound telephone pole end over end)

1. Wes Kiser, Burlington, N.C.                      12:00

2. Gene Flynn, Kitty Hawk, N.C.                   11:45


22-Pound Hammer Throw

1. Michael Pockoski                                       113’ 6”           

2. Gene Flynn                                                 103’ 8”           


28-Pound Weight Throw-for distance

1. Eric Frasure                                                78’ 1.5”

2. Kerry Overfelt, Loratto, K.Y.                    77′ 11.5”


56-Pound Weight Toss- for height

1. Michael Pockoski                                       17’ 6″             

2. Eric Frasure                                                17’ 6″

(Tie Breaker: Went back to 16′. Frasure took three tries, Pockoski took one try)              


Overall Winner

1. Michael Pockoski

Matt Harlfinger

Matt Harlfinger captured the title of Male Track and Field Athlete of the Games for the third year in a row, winning four of the 10 competitions.  The 27-year-old Atlanta native and track coach at Western Carolina University won the 100-yard, 220-yard and 440-yard races plus the long jump.

The women’s overall champion was 16-year-old Shannon Smith, a rising junior at Avery High School in Newland, N.C.  Smith also competes in soccer, volleyball and basketball.  Smith won the 100-yard, 220-yard, and 440-yard races plus the long jump in the women’s division.



100 Yard Dash – Men

1.  Matt Harlfinger, Cullowhee, N.C.                                    10.9 seconds

2.  Christian Carswell, Morganton, N.C.                               11 seconds


100 Yard Dash – Women

1.  Shannon Smith, Linville, N.C.                                          13.28 seconds

2.  Mary Chesnut Smith, Banner Elk, N.C.                            13.7 seconds


100 Yard Dash – Men’s Masters

1.  Russell Paige, Boone, N.C.                                               12.91 seconds

2.  Peter Clements, Plantation, F.L.                                       14.46 seconds

2.  Shawn Roberts, Boone, N.C.                                             14.46 seconds


220 Yard Dash – Men

1.  Matt Harlfinger                                                                 29.34 seconds

2.  Jason Bryant, Elkin, N.C.                                                  30.93 seconds


220 Yard Dash – Women

1.  Shannon Smith                                                                  31.1 seconds

2.  Megan Gillespie, Dobson, N.C.                                        32.17 seconds


440 Yard Dash – Men

1.  Matt Harlfinger                                                                 59 seconds

2.  Marco Ricci, Charlotte, N.C.                                            1 minute and .6 seconds


440 Yard Dash – Women

1.  Shannon Smith                                                                  1 minute and 13.9 seconds

2.  Mary Chesnut Smith                                                         1 minute and 26.5 seconds


880 Yard Dash – Men

1.  Jason Bryant                                                                      2 minutes and 34 seconds

2.  Aaron Hale, Raleigh, N.C.                                                2 minutes and 53 seconds


880 Yard Dash – Women

1.  Mary Chesnut Smith                                                         3 minutes and .4 seconds

2.  Morgan Stephenson, Cary, N.C.                                       3 minutes and 9.5 seconds


Mile Run – Men

1.  Jason Bryant                                                                      5 minutes and 28.2 seconds

2.  Aaron Hale                                                                        5 minutes and 36 seconds


Mile Run – Women

1.  Mary Chesnut Smith                                                         6 minutes and 25.12 seconds

2.  Megan Gillespie                                                                7 minutes and 54 seconds


2 Mile Run – Men

1.  Jason Bryant                                                                      11 minutes and 45 seconds

2.  Lee Bradley, Charlotte, N.C.                                             12 minutes and 13 seconds


2 Mile Run – Women

1.  Mary Chesnut Smith                                                         14 minutes and 34.1 seconds

2.  Morgan Stephenson                                                           16 minutes and 4 seconds


Long Jump – Men

1.  Matt Harlfinger                                                                 19’ 6 1/4″

2.  Michael Wilson, Boone, N.C.                                           19’ 3 1/2”


Long Jump – Women

1.  Shannon Smith                                                                  14′ 4 1/2″

2.  Meredith Wilson, Asheville, N.C.                                                13′ 10 1/2″


High Jump – Men

1.  Christian Carswell                                                             6’ 3”

2.  Michael Wilson                                                                 6’


High Jump – Women

1.  Meredith Wilson                                                               4′ 6″

2.  Debra Domermuth, Boone, NC                                         4′ 4″


Triple Jump- Men

1.  Michael Wilson                                                                 41′ 7″

2.  Matt Harlfinger                                                                 40′ 4″


Triple Jump – Women

1.  Meredith Wilson                                                               29′ 5″

2.  Debra Domermuth                                                             28′ 10″


Pole Vault – Men

1.  Evan Webb, Salisbury, N.C.                                             15′ 2″

2.  Austin Vegas, Kernersville, N.C.                                      15′ 1″


Pole Vault – Women

1.  Debra Domermuth                                                             10′ 6″

2.  Colleen McLean, Durham, N.C.                                       10′

Stacie Battjes

Many of the top male and female finishers for the Grandfather Mountain Marathon were first-time competitors in the race. One of the few podium finishers to have won the race before was first place winner Glen Mayes, a 41-year-old professor at the University of Kentucky. This is Mayes’ second time winning the Grandfather Mountain Marathon and he finished with a time of 2:54.44.

“There were three or four nasty climbs toward the end of the race,” said Mayes. “I was cramping pretty bad and just tried to keep my lead.”

Second overall was Steve Cowie, 35, from Greensboro, N.C. Cowie finished the race with a time of 2:55.56. This was Cowie’s fifth time competing in the Marathon.

“I love the bagpipes,” said Cowie. “The crowd and hearing the bagpipes at the end of the race is by far the best part.”

Third place went to Brian Fowler from Dunn, N.C. This was Fowler’s first attempt at the Grandfather Mountain Marathon, but he has run marathons in Richmond, Disney World and The Donna, a marathon devoted to breast cancer. Fowler, a 30-year-old running specialist, finished with a time of 2:58.59.

The men’s record time still stands at 2:34:51 set by Michael Harrison in 1994.

Stacie Battjes of Winston Salem, N.C. won first place in the women’s division. Battjes, 32, was ecstatic to win her first attempt at this grueling marathon. Battjes’ time was 3:33.26.

“I felt like I had a lot of luck on my side today. My wedding anniversary is September 17, 9-17, and today was my ninth marathon and my running number was 17,” said Battjes.

The second woman to finish was Erin McKee, 27, of Durham, N.C. This was McKee’s first attempt at the Marathon and first marathon in six years. The law student at Wake Forest University trained for the race by running at Bass Lake in Blowing Rock, N.C. and finished with a time of 3:24.46.

Finishing third was Emily Pulsifer, 37, from Swannanoa, N.C. Pulsifer, a librarian at Christ School in Arden, N.C., was also a first-time participant in this marathon. She finished with a time of 3:39.21 and said that all the great folks running near here provided her with cheerful motivation.

The female record for the Grandfather Mountain Marathon remains at 3:01:54 set by Patti Shephard in 1997.

A total of 390 runners from 28 states and Canada, lined up for the 45th Annual Grandfather Mountain Marathon. Runners began the race at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone N.C. and then ran 26.2 grueling miles to the finish line in MacRae Meadows. The runners’ ages ranged from 17 to 76.

The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games continue Sunday with a Scottish worship service, the Parade of Tartans and children’s competition in track and field. Tomorrow’s weather forecast is for partly sunny skies and a high temperature of 79 degrees.

For more information about the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, visit www.gmhg.org or call 828-733-1333.

Photo Gallery

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